Dealer vs. Product Experience

I’m looking for a little more insight on the dealer point of view in the furniture industry.

What are the major differences of working primarily on furniture design in a manufacturing environment oppossed to a designer working in a dealer environment. I do know in a dealer environment designers don’t specifically design furniture, but utilize other companies products the help enhance or create office spaces, work environments, etc. Does a designer working with a dealer specifically have more interior background or would a product design background in the furniture industry be sufficient?

Any insight from someone who has worked in either the furniture or dealer industry would be greatly appreciated.

There has to be someone out there with a little insight on this topic. I have posted very few topics of conversation on Core’s forums, and have recieved little to no feedback for any of them. Even the posts that don’t have clear english structure and meaning to them recieve more feedback. This is a legitimate topic in which people should have a little more knowledge than myself, I would hope, unless I’m in the wrong forum.

Designers at the retail level typically are “interior” designers and, typically, are only concerned with creating a certain feel or look for clients. Sort-of what you see on TV, only they charge an arm and a leg. Some are better than others and actually design spaces so that they are useful, ergonomic, whatever - function over form, if you like.

Having product/furniture design experience should give an ‘interior’ designer better insight on how to organize a space so that it is more useful and best suited to its intended function, instead of just giving it a certain style. A product designer should also be more aware of what types of furnishings should go into a space so that the intended function is acheived and any other intentions are met.

I’ve been in a lot of offices, waiting rooms, etc. that were obviously designed by someone who had no clue as to what type of furniture and other furnishings should have been there. Coherent color schemes and fitting a certain style do not make a space useable or comfortable.

As a furniture designer myself, I feel that there is no excuse for uncomfortable seating and useless storage. Poor desks/task areas are also a sore spot. How hard is it to spec something that is well-designed instead of “cool?”

Now, having experience in furniture design may not be specifically wanted at the retail level. Retailers/dealers are only selling furniture to make money, and if having a furniture designer at their disposal is beneficial, I am sure they would hire someone with furniture/product design experience. For all I know, most retailers/dealers are not able to differentiate between interior and product/industrial designers - it seems like there is a proliferation of “designers” with most of them being purely ‘stylists’ and not ID’ers.


I agree with 73lotus. Dealer “designers” seem to have more of an Interior Design background, but I think your ID background may prove to be useful.

I also think you would need to learn how to use software packages like Giza if you don’t already have experience with them.

Thanks for the input, your time is greatly appreciated.